Diamond Specialist Certification Course
KING Spotlight on the Princess Cut
Purchase Diamond Specialist Certification CourseLearn the fundamentals of diamonds — from optical and physical properties to grading and ethical and legal issues. Learn to distinguish natural diamonds from synthetics and diamond simulants. Keep the kit, which includes one natural, jewelry-grade diamond. If you successfully pass the quiz and gem identification test, then you will be an IGS-certified Diamond Specialist.
There appears to be some confusion over what exactly constitutes a princess cut and what it really looks like. This design began as a diamond cut, so I spoke with several friends in the diamond trade. We looked at a lot of cut diamonds sold as princess cuts.
Princess Cut Characteristics
Other than having square or modified square shapes, several of these diamonds had designs with no relation to each other.
However, as we continued our examination, one design became prevalent overall. It had the following characteristics:
- Square corners.
- pavilion. (Depending on the stone's size, we found 2 to 4 tiers of these facets). A series of "V" shaped facets on the
- step-cut crown. A simple,
- table, a tier of scissor cuts. At the
All the stones we examined had very large (70% plus) tables.
According to Eric Bruton, FGA, the author of Diamonds , A. Nagy, a London cutter, introduced the princess cut in 1960. It was intended as an economical cut for flat diamond crystals.
The Princess Cut Design
My diamond trade friends and I think a princess cut looks like the design below. I'm not sure if this is exactly what the original cut looked like. However, it is certainly what people in the diamond trade are calling a princess cut.
Princess Cuts and Colored Gemstones
Due to the angles involved, this design won't cut with much brilliance in most colored gemstones. Zircons may be an exception. (Perhaps not surprisingly, since zircons have a long history of use as diamond simulants).
If you'd like something like princess cuts for colored gems, consider the Gram Princess or Gram Prince. For these designs, I modified the traditional cut to suit the lower refractive indices of most colored gems.
Jeff R. Graham
The late Jeff Graham was a prolific faceter, creator of many original faceting designs, and the author of several highly-regarded instructional faceting books such as Gram Faceting Designs .
When you join the IGS community, you get trusted diamond & gemstone information when you need it.
Get started with the International Gem Society’s free guide to gemstone identification. Join our weekly newsletter & get a free copy of the Gem ID Checklist!